(The spoken version shall take precedence)
Ladies and Gentlemen.
First of all let me say that I am delighted to be back in Brazil, and in São Paulo. It is always a pleasure to be here.
Brazil is Sweden’s most important partner in Latin America. Our bilateral relations are excellent and go far back in history. Swedish enterprises have been doing business in Brazil for decades, some for even more than a century. Today, some 200 Swedish companies are estimated to employ about 70 000 people here in Brazil.
In 2009, our two governments entered into a bilateral strategic partnership that has had an extraordinary development. There is now active exchange in many different areas including trade and investment, innovation and sustainable development.
Our bilateral ties were further deepened by the signing of the Gripen contract in 2014. This project is planned to last for 30 to 40 years. As contacts expand and intensify, I think it is fair to say that Sweden and Brazil are embarking on a new era of bilateral cooperation.
Today’s forum is an excellent opportunity to deepen the relationship between our two countries. It is a chance to discuss joint challenges and to identify possible new areas of collaboration.
In order to realise the sustainable development goals and to use the full potential of the Swedish-Brazilian partnership, we need to join forces.
I would like to thank the National Confederation of Industry of Brazil, the Foreign Ministry of Brazil, Business Sweden and the Embassy of Sweden for initiating today’s Forum.
I welcome the presence of so many companies representing different sectors. Let us hope that this meeting will result in many future partnerships and new business opportunities.
Now, I very much look forward to our discussions!